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Xenograft - Xenograft, Kettlespider, Bear the Mammoth CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.54 | 3 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Three instrumentals from three excellent Australian bands, Xenograft, Kettlespider and Bear The Mammoth. The cover art is as odd as the music, with a hybrid bear, spider, octopus creature crawling sluggishly on a white background.

Xenograft's 'Victimentia' is really demented mental and jazz outbursts, with spasmodic guitar blasts and odd funky splashes. The music is very aggressive at first and then launches into a slower measured tempo with very speedy lead guitar picking from Carey and Daniel Powell, and James Carman's crashing drums. This is music to wake up to. The saxophone of Nicholas Coulter is outlandishly placed within this cataclysm of sound as a kind of mediator battling for supremacy. Jarrad Will plays a funky bass and Tom Mass's piano solo is wonderful. Luke Tylim fills out the sound with synth, woodblock and cowbell. The end section is a break up of fast jazz fusion percussion and virtuoso sax playing. All in all it is a fabulous instrumental that grinds along nicely in its 5:43 running time.

Kettlespider are more familiar territory, in the Dream Theater style of guitar sounds over layers of keyboards. There is a King Crimson polyrhythm on 'The Transcent' and then it lunges full tilt into a murky distorted metal riff. The synths of Geoffrey Fyfe come to the fore and dominate for a while in the next section and then it moves to a gut wrenching metalcore blast over relentless keyboard motifs. The drums of Simon Wood and bass of Colin Andrews maintain a powerful rhythm. The cadence locks in with the keys and the guitars of Haris Boyd Gerny and Scott Ashburn are battling it out til it fades after almost 6 minutes.

The last track is 'Sea Caesar' from Bear The Mammoth with cool guitar picking, similar to Fripp's style, and it builds with a 4/4 drum rhythm by Chris Lobo, and bass by Stephen Evans. This is a rather pleasant journey, with powerhouse twin guitar licks trading off one another. The atmosphere is more ambient than the previous tracks and it is relaxing music overall. On guitars are Ben Sharpe, and James Kershaw, and they dominate this wonderful piece beautifully.

3 shining stars for 3 shining artists; one to recommend as a taster of the excellent music that these bands offer. Check it out for a heavy musical experience.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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